Every gamer has a series of essentials, their gaming kit: a decent laptop, mouse, mouse pad and generally a decent headset. These headsets require good sound quality (both listening and talking), a compact design, be easy to carry and to be comfortable. Luckily this is what the Steelseries Flux seems to have been designed for: a durable and comfortable headset with a built in microphone and pretty decent sound quality that is compatible with more than one platform.
The Steelseries Flux is a headset specifically designed with gaming in mind, with the option for customisation, mobility, a compact design and a price that isn’t too steep as well. For the purpose of this review VGU has been given the Steelseries Flux Luxury Edition, which includes extra items. The first thing you notice with this headset it the looks.
As with the rest of the Steelseries products, the headset is well packaged and comes with all the information you need in a retail shop. The front is designed to showcase the headset and sell you on the looks, with a clear cover and the headset well laid out. The sides contain the detailed information you will once again need in the retail shops, even including how to set up the headset for immediate use. Compared to ordering this online however, the Steelseries website has all the information you could possibly need on this particular product. The information online is much more in-depth than on here, but the headset comes with an instruction book (just in case you want even more information). The packaging can sometimes sell an item, and Steelseries have not disappointed here.
Actually getting into the packaging is simple: you need to remove the clear tabs of the top cover and voila, you can get to your brand new headset.
This particular version sports the sleek black look associated with Steelseries products with special designs over the ear-pieces. These are actually interchangeable with a shiny black pair provided (you can see these through the front of the box) and, should you purchase these online, there are even more customisation options available. This is the kind of headset most people can like and it will go well with other pieces of hardware.
The microphone is positioned on the bright orange cable (it’s quite hard to lose these) for easy use and it makes the headset itself much more compact and portable (as I will explain shortly). These cables are a rubber-like material which is quite flexible and can be bent and folded for easier storage, and they are long enough to allow some movement from your pc/device.
The Steelseries Flux comes with a flexible headband that actually conforms to your head shape which makes it much more comfortable for prolonged use, and the ear pads are soft foam. This combined with their ‘over ear’ design allows for plenty of breathing room, avoided the chance of sweaty ears and rubbing when used for a long time. The Flux also keeps the outside noise out while keeping your noise in, so you aren’t as easily disturbed by outside distractions and others aren’t disturbed by your gaming. It’s definitely a big plus for comfort, but due to the ‘over ear’ design they can sometimes slip off when you are moving. It’s not a major annoyance but it is still something that could irritate some people.
Along the side of the box (and also on the website) we have the specifications of the Flux:
- Frequency response: 18 – 28000 Hz
- Impedance: 29 Ohm
- SPL@ 1kHz, 1 Vrms: 118 dB
- Cable length: 2m
- Jacks: 3.5 mm
- Frequency response: 50 – 16000 Hz
- Pick up pattern: Omni-directional
- Sensitivity: -38 dB
As well as this the Flux boasts the ability of customisation (as previously mentioned), a set of impressive acoustics powered by 40mm drivers, a detachable cable system (coming with 2 cables), a microphone on each cable and the ability to share your sound with others.
When opening the box of the Luxury Edition you get the following items and accessories:
– The Headset (obviously)
– A set of removable side plates and a glossy black set
– A protective carry case (made of nice quality material with a zipper)
– A Headset extension cable with a high quality 3.5mm gold plated jack
– A PC cable (which also works with iPods)
– A mobile phone cable
Functionality and Sound Quality
The included PC and mobile cables mean you can swap between headphones or headset. The PC cable plugs straight in to your headphone and microphone slot and doesn’t require any extra software to run – it’s literally plug in and use. Each side of the headset has a jack to connect the cables, allowing you to choose which side the microphone goes on and they even allow you to actually share what you are listening to by plugging a second headset directly in. This could come in handy the next time someone asks what you’re listening to.
As for sound quality with the PC the Flux is more than capable of handling music, movies, gaming and chatting. After testing it playing music and watching films both the audio levels and quality are great, and their ability with gaming is just as good. This particular set was tested playing Akaneiro: Demon Hunters, Planetside 2 and Torchlight 2. With 5.1 surround sound the Flux is pretty good for telling you where enemies are lurking and where bullets are coming from, meaning the difference between life and death. In Torchlight 2 and Akaneiro it showed previously unheard sounds as well as amplifying the existing audio, and provided a consistent good quality while making your ears bleed with how loud it can potentially be turned up.
The in-line Microphone also worked well: while playing the games other players didn’t have any troubles hearing what was being said, although the only slight issue is that they could hear whenever the microphone rubbed against clothing. When the mic was used in conjunction with a phone (the Samsung Galaxy S3) the sound was clear.
The second cable is specifically designed to work with phones, and as with the PC cable the audio quality was great. Both playing games and listening to music was easy (not to mention loud!) and unlike some headsets and headphones I’ve previously used there wasn’t any crackling if you occasionally catch the jack. Both cables worked with the iPod as well, and were great for a variety of songs (from classical to dub step), boosting the base where it was needed and providing that ‘epic edge’ your soundtracks need.
If portability is what you need, then look no further. The Flux has been especially designed to be lightweight and portable, with the ability to take the cable out and actually fold the headset in half. This makes it much more compact for putting in the carry case and putting in your bag, and it makes it less susceptible to damage. The carrying pouch can carry the headset itself as well as all of the cables you might need for the rest of the day without fear of losing them amongst the rest of your belongings.
Priced at £79.99, it’s quite a reasonable price for the quality you are getting. The Luxury Edition can be slightly more expensive as it come with extra accessories but you pay for what you get. This headset is durable, comfortable, portable and has multi-functions and is definitely worth this low price.
Steelseries have a history of providing good quality gaming products, and the Steelseries Flux is no exception to that. The headband conforms to your head and the soft ear pads mean a much closer and more comfortable fit, while avoiding the social awkwardness of sweating and uncomfortable ears. The Flux isn’t a large and bulky headset, and with the ability to fold down even smaller it’s compact and easily transportable. Just using this headset for a day shows how much you really miss in games when using lower quality headsets, picking up quieter sounds and boosting music to epic proportions.
If you’re looking for a reasonably priced headset that won’t break the band, has lots of customisation options and boasts a great set of features then the Flux could be the headset for you.